Category Archives: transportation

Lowrider Festival 2013

Centro Cultural Aztlan organized San Antonio’s 31st annual Lowrider Festival on Sunday, April 7, 2013. The festival was held for the first time at the Deco District on Fredericksburg Road. The festival celebrated Lowrider cars, classic cars and custom bicycles. Live music, food vendors, and art booths added to the festive atmosphere.

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Siclovia: Spring 2013

Siclovia experienced a great turnout of families, dogs, adults and teens. The City closed Broadway to motorized vehicles from Alamo Plaza to Mulberry Street for five hours on Sunday, April 7. Participants at the free event were able to move freely in the street and participate in fun exercise activities in parks and parking lots along the route. Participants used many different types of wheeled transportation including a variety of bicycles, skateboards, unicycles, tricycles, scooters and a few contraptions that were new to me. Reclovia stops along Broadway included a yoga class, an aerobics dance class, bands, information booths and children’s activities. The next Siclovia is September 29, 2013.

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Union Pacific Railroad 150th Anniversary

Union Pacific museum car

Union Pacific Railroad Company celebrated Fiesta and its 150th year anniversary with an event today at Sunset Station.  The Fiesta Carnival served as a backdrop as railroad enthusiastsoured a Union Pacific museum car, climbed up in the cab of the SP 794 locomotive and talked with representatives of local railroad organizations including Friends of the SP 794, San Antonio Garden Railroad Engineers Society, Amtrak and the Texas Transportation Museum.

SP 794

Museum car interior

UP 949

San Antonio Garden Railroad Engineers Society

Friends of the SP 794

Texas Transportation Museum truck

Aerial view of Sunset Station, UP 949 and Fiesta Carnival

Hays Street Bridge

Entrance on Austin Street

The Hays Street Bridge  connecting Hays Street between Austin and Cherry Streets on the near Eastside of San Antonio officially re-opened for pedestrian and bicycle traffic on July 20.  The bridge was built in 1881 for railroad use and moved to its present site for vehicular use in 1910.  In 1982 the bridge was deemed dangerous and closed.  

Top of bridge

According to the Hays Street Bridge is a viaduct consisting of two wrought iron truss spans (one Phoenix Whipple 225-ft span, and one Pratt 130-ft span), and approximately 1000-linear feet of concrete approaches.  Records of the Phoenix Bridge Company archived at the Hagley Library in Wilmington, Delaware show that the Whipple truss dates from 1881 and was reconstructed from one or more salvaged spans over the Nueces River west of San Antonio.

Trusses over the railroad tracks

BridgeMapper says the Hays Street Bridge  is composed of a Whipple Truss and a pin-connected Pratt approach span.  The Whipple Truss segment with Phoenix column compression members is one of only a few such surviving examples in the country.  BridgeMapper says that while railroads often recycled their bridges to carry roads over their lines, Whipple trusses were rarely moved since they were much longer and much rarer than other types.   The Hays Street Bridge is a notable exception.  The trusses were relocated to the present site around 1910 and widened to carry two lanes of traffic.  

Art on railing

The City of San Antonio purchased the bridge and rehabilitated it as a bicycle and pedestrian facility using a Transportation Enhancement grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.  Sparks Engineering, Inc.  was the design consultant for the project.  The rehabilitation project incorporates benches, interpretive signage covering the history of the bridge, and a public art component along the new approach railings.   When I visited the bridge on a recent hot and sunny Sunday afternoon nobody else was on the bridge.  Hopefully with the cooler weather approaching more people will come and walk or bike this elegant historic bridge. 

Artwork on the bridge railing

View of Hemisfair Tower from bridge

House near bridge entrance